Aaron Young

Aaron Young
Greeting Card 10a (and details), 2007
Stained plywood, acrylic, burnt rubber
10 panels: 4 x 8 ft each Overall: 16 x 20 ft

Aaron Young’s Greeting Card 10a takes its title from a 1944 Jackson Pollock piece, expanding the connotations of action painting. In Young’s Greeting Card 10a the spontaneous scribbles
and gestures associated with Pollock’s subconscious negotiation of the canvas are re-created by something much more powerful: 12 high octane motorcycles. The making of this piece was staged as a performance: plywood panels were laid out to cover a 72 x 128 foot area of the floor, then stained and painted with layers of yellow, pink, orange, and red, covered with a final coat of jet black before a team of bikers rallied on its surface for 7 minutes. Created in the dark with only the bike headlights illuminating the action, the ear-blasting revving of the engines and toxic clouds of exhaust smoke gave the effect of a rock-concert extravaganza, placing abstractpainting in the realm of hard-core spectacle or extreme sport. The painting seen in the gallery is comprised of 6 panels taken from this event; its making can be viewed on the Saatchi Gallery website Click here

Aaron Young
The Young And The Driftless (and details), 2007
Rubber on safety glass
213.4 x 152.4 cm

Young’s practice is often collaborative in nature. Forging relationships with subculture figures such as biker gangs, skateboarders, and tattoo artists, as well as expert craftsmen, Young’s work often focuses on the process of creation as an artistic action or event, with the finished work operating both as independent pieces and documentary material of his performances. The Young and The Driftless is a ‘painting’ made on a panel of the safety glass that surrounded a gallery during a motorcycle performance where a biker sped around a room creating a ‘drawing’ on the floor. The glass was coated with layers of spray glue which collected the rubber shavings that sprayed up from the tyres as the biker rode past, creating an outlined self-portrait of the artist. Through his unorthodox way of working, Young addresses issues of cultural hierarchy to explore sustainable forms of autonomous expression, citing alternative communities and lifestyles.

Aaron Young
Focus On The Four Dots In The Middle Of The Painting For Thirty Seconds, Close Your Eyes And Tilt Your Head Back (Frantic Fruit), 2007
Silkscreen on canvas
147.3 cm diameter

Young’s FOCUS ON THE FOUR DOTS FOR 30 SECONDS, CLOSE YOUR EYES, THEN TILT YOUR HEAD BACK (Frantic Fruit), is an abstracted silk-screen print. Drawing from the graphic language of pop and advertising, as well as the cultural value of the print as art object, Young uses the power of this media to disseminate subliminal messages. The image itself is a pleasing composition – reminiscent of both Warhol’s Rorschach paintings and primitive art – however, if the instructions in the title are followed, a portrait will appear of Jesus, Che Guevara, or Charles Manson depending on the viewer’s perception. The titles of the prints from this series are taken from bubble gum flavours, lacing the high of instant gratification with problematics of religious or political ideologies.

Thursday, 26 November 2020: COVID-19 / CORONAVIRUS UPDATE:

Following the UK Government’s latest announcement placing London in Tier 2, Saatchi Gallery will re-open from Wednesday, 9 December 2020. We will re-open with our free entry Ground Floor exhibitions (Philip Colbert: Lobsteropolis and Antisocial Isolation) from December 9. The new dates for our next headline exhibition JR: Chronicles will be announced shortly.

Government guidelines on health and safety measures will remain in effect, including social distancing within a one-way system in our galleries, the provision of hand sanitising stations, and the wearing of face coverings by visitors and staff. All visitors are encouraged to pre-book their tickets prior to entry.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.